Each year seems to bring even more advances in video game technology and storytelling. Games are quickly asserting themselves as a favorite past time for so many around the world. So far, 2020 has seen the release of quite a few great games. No matter what your style or favorite genre of video game happens to be, chances are something that has already released this year that is the perfect fit for you.
Everything from brand new Battle Royales to long-awaited sequels and prequels, 2020 has had it all. Some of these games have been eagerly anticipated and some have come as a complete shock. Here are the top ten best games released so far this year.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
For years, fans of the Dragon Ball franchise have longed for an open-world game based on the anime. The promise of such a rich and deep world at your fingertips to explore was enough to make any fan salivate. Finally, Bandai Namco Entertainment delivered on that wish by releasing Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot.
In Kakarot, released on January 16th, you get to experience the world along with Goku, eating, fishing, training, and fighting just like he does. Kakarot is the most loving take on the story of Dragon Ball Z that there has ever been, a game where the story clearly takes the front seat as opposed to the action as has been the case in past Dragon Ball Z games.
Nioh 2, the second part in Team Ninja’s samurai-based RPG lives up to the reputation earned from the first installment. A prequel to the original, Nioh 2 was released on March 12 exclusively for the PS4. This installment improves on almost everything that people loved about the first one. The combat system is tough and nuanced, making it difficult but rewarding to master.
Much like the first, Nioh 2 is not for the faint of heart. The game is hard and every death feels like a punch to the gut. But the challenge and the reward will keep you coming back to this game time and time again.
Kentucky Route Zero
Kentucky Route Zero is a truly unique point and click adventure game about the cave’s underneath Kentucky and the strange people who inhabit them. That alone is enough to get anyone interested. Published on January 7th, this game has achieved outstanding reviews and is loved by almost everyone who plays it.
It took seven years for the creators to release all five parts of this epic story and the time, attention to detail, and care they took shines through in every moment. As with any game of this genre, most of the beauty lies in the story surrounding the game. A story as much nostalgic as it is relevant, Kentucky Route Zero has as much to say to our world now as it is fun to play.
The Sims 4: Tiny Living
The Sims franchise is one of the best-known and most-loved games in the world. With the Tiny Living expansion for Sims 4, you can let your Sims experience all of the joys of living in a comfortable, compact space. The next expansion is all of the fun of Sims 4, but cozier. It forces you to be more creative in the way you design and build your home. Now you have to think about how you use all of the space which adds a new, unique challenge to The Sims.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The direct sequel to 2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a platform-adventure released on March 11th. You play as a white guardian spirit, named Ori, as you solve puzzles to move through the Metroidvania world and unlock the truth of Ori’s destiny. This game expands on the original, is set in a truly beautiful world, and provides just enough of a challenge to keep the game interesting and replayable.
Some of the settings can be a bit too busy, but they are so beautiful that it’s hard to call that a negative. Really, the biggest issue with this game is how short it is. It’s just not enough Ori.
Have you ever wanted to design your own video game, but you don’t have the time or skill involved to learn how to code? That is where Dreams comes in. Published by Sony for the PlayStation 4, players create content that can then be used to develop their own games within the system or build on and remix other users’ games. There is a story mode in Dreams, but it’s not what gets all of the attention and praise. Dreams takes modern game development and makes it accessible.
Dreams is a game that is what you make it. You can build out a really cool world for yourself, one that is unique to you and exactly what you want, or you can build something simple, easy, and fun. Or you can hop on and play through other games developed by the community. It’s entirely up to you and that’s a fun thing to experience in modern gaming.
Call of Duty: Warzone
Released on March 10th, the free to play add on for Call of Duty Modern Warfare is the newest Battle Royale game to take the world by storm. It is fast-paced, packed full of gunfights, and brings the Call of Duty version of the first-person shooter into the Battle Royale genre.
Unlike previous games in this genre, Warzone doesn’t feel as punishing to lose. That is mostly because of Warzone’s relaxed looting system. You won’t spend the entire game building the perfect weapon or farming materials just to be killed before getting to use any of it. Players drop with a gun, albeit only a pistol, and the weapon system is easy to maneuver from there. Warzone is free, simple, and fast-paced.
Doom: Eternal is the highly anticipated fifth installment in the legendary Doom franchise from Bethesda Softworks. It is a direct sequel to 2016’s Doom and players once again take the role of Doom Slayer, a warrior, slaying demons in the depths of Hell. Doom is a well-known name for all first-person shooter fans and this installment earns the Doom prestige.
Doom: Eternal proves that the reboot wasn’t a fluke: Bethesda knows what they are doing and are more than capable of creating an intense, high-powered Doom game. If you are a fan of FPS games, this is a must.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Continuing the theme of highly anticipated next-installments, we have a game that is exploding all across the world. If you have a Switch, chances are all of your friends on that platform are playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If you somehow don’t know what it is, Animal Crossing is a life-simulation video game that takes place in real-time. You take control of an island, explore, and build a community.
You can also venture off of your island to see what your friends are doing with theirs. And, since this game takes place in real-time, you can see what everyone else has managed to do in the same amount of time. Animal Crossing is a game that will reward you for all of your hard work and keep you plugged in for hours upon hours.
Half Life: Alyx
There is probably no game more longed for than Half Life 3. Since the release of Half Life 2, in 2004, fans have been begging Valve to make a follow up. And finally, Half Life 3 is here. Or sort of. Half Life: Alyx, a virtual reality first-person shooter, is a prequel to Half Life 2 and focuses on Alyx Vance as she and her father fight the Combine.
Virtual reality is promised to be the future of gaming, but so far there are only a handful of developers that have done it right. Even fewer do it well. But none so far have done it as amazingly as Half Life: Alyx. It is exactly what people thought VR could be. It is smooth, integrated, and easy to adjust to. It really makes you feel like part of the game, and with a story and world as wonderful as Half Life, that’s exactly how you want to feel.
Whether you want to sit back and relax with a few life-simulation games, amp up your heart rate with fast-paced shooters, or even build your own game yourself, 2020 has seen the release of a game for you. Your favorite game of this year will largely depend on your own personal preference, but any of the games on this list are all but guaranteed to bring hours of enjoyment.
We can’t wait to see what else is released this year.